Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-10

Autologous bone marrow-derived cells in the treatment of liver disease patients

Liver Disease Research Center, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ayman A Abdo
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.151211

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Liver transplantation is universally accepted as a "cure" procedure, and yet is not universally applicable for the treatment of end-stage liver diseases (ESLD) because of the shortage of donors, operative complications, risk of rejection, and high cost. Bioartificial liver device is an option to temporarily improve the liver function and to bridge the patients to liver transplantation. However, bioartificial liver device has many problems in clinical application, such as hepatocyte allograft rejection and maintenance of hepatocyte viability and function. Another therapeutic option is stem cell transplantation. There are two broad types of stem cells: Embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. The latter are sourced from bone marrow (BM), adipose tissue, and blood. This review will concentrate on BM-derived cells. BM-derived cell transplantation, although not ideal, is theoretically an optimal modality for the treatment of ESLD. Autologous BM-derived cells have no graft rejection, have the capability of regeneration and self-renewal, and are multipotent stem cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types which include hepatocytes. The pathway from BM-derived cell to hepatocyte is well documented. The present review summarizes the delivery routes of BM-derived cells to the liver, the evidences of engraftment of BM-derived cells in the liver, and the possible mechanisms of BM-derived cells in liver repair and regeneration, and finally, updates the clinical applications.

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